Voices From The Readers

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Respect Expressed For Good Samaritans

Editor:

The Maryland Coast Dispatch carried an excellent article on the July 6 boat accident and subsequent rescue.

I want to take this opportunity to express my admiration for a public servant who continues to protect his community. On July 6, at risk of his own personal safety, Ocean City Police Captain and 3rd Assistant Fire Chief, Kevin Kirstein, left his home at 1 a.m. in dense fog to look for survivors of a boat accident. Despite the danger of the fog, Kevin felt he could be of more help taking his private boat to the scene. As he made it to the bridge, he located the injured personnel and brought them aboard his boat. Other OCVFD officers, Skip Bunting, John Fisher, and David Cropper (who also risked their lives and their personal boats in the fog), assisted Captain Kirstein in getting all of the boats’ occupants to safety.

The dedication and bravery of these gentlemen, who are all volunteers, is commendable. Since the Medivac helicopter couldn’t land in the fog of Ocean City, Captain Kirstein risked and in fact incurred substantial damage to his personal vessel by transporting the passengers to the shallow western shore.

Captain Kirstein is no stranger to lending assistance in a tragedy, as noted on the OCPD web site, shortly after 9/11/01, he went to New York City and assisted the city in disaster management. To further his knowledge of police work, Kevin attended and graduated from the FBI academy.  Kevin is a dedicated family man with a strong commitment to his community. All the while he remains humble about his public service. I am proud to call him my friend.

The actions of OCVFD officers Skip Bunting, John Fisher, and David Cropper were also heroic. These gentlemen prove that there is no shortage of excellence and commitment to public service in the personnel of the OCVFD. We are very fortunate to have people so dedicated to the safety of Ocean City.

Barry DeBald       

Ocean City, MD

Tasers Needed In OC

Editor:

Ocean City police officers need Taser electronic control devices (ECD’s) to protect both themselves and the public. Already this summer, several officers have been injured trying to subdue disturbed individuals. Sooner or later, someone will be permanently disabled or killed because our police do not have this tool available to them.

I have been told that the City Council has denied local police requests for Taser’s because of recent negative publicity about the devices and a fear of law suits. If this is true, their thinking is short sighted. Most of the negative publicity about Taser has been promoted by Amnesty International, which clearly has its own questionable political agenda. The safety of the device has been tested by independent researchers on human subjects, and the results are clear. The device is safe and it does not disrupt normal heart rhythms even when deployed directly across the heart. Because of the research evidence, Taser has never lost a lawsuit in the over 70 cases that have been adjudicated. Many cases have been summarily dismissed. In most cases of death following the use of a Taser, the subject was found to be experiencing extreme physical/mental distress due to drug abuse. The Taser was not a causal factor. The council would not have to do much research to confirm the safety of the device.

For many years, police and corrections officers throughout the world have been successfully using Taser’s to overcome combative subjects while avoiding direct physical contact or the use of firearms. The only less-than lethal weapons OC officers have at their disposal now are batons and pepper spray. Both of these require close physical contact and a greater risk of injury. With close contact there is always the risk that the officers’ weapons can be taken and used against them. The big advantage of a Taser is that it can be deployed from a distance of several yards, and then the subject can be restrained while immobilized. Taser ECD’s have not only prevented many injuries and deaths during arrests, but they have also prevented many suicides.

If the council is concerned about lawsuits, wait until they have to face a wrongful death suit because an officer had to use a firearm to protect him/her self or others. Ask yourself this question: If you had a loved one who for some reason lost control and was threatening others, would you rather that they be subdued with a Taser or a firearm?

Steve Whitmer

Ocean City

Where’s The Truth?

Editor:

News flash: Blocked by White House restrictions, the Salisbury Police Department announced they have been forced to stop their investigation of the downtown plaza terrorist bombing that killed 84 people. Local officials expressed frustration over the total blackout of any information about the alleged planners and perpetrators of the worst crime in Eastern Shore history.

Shortly after the bombing, FBI agents arrested five suspects and have refused to give local officials any access to the suspects despite requests by Salisbury Police, courts, and families of the victims.

The stunning announcement by Salisbury officials, to stop the investigation without being allowed to question or have any further information on the suspects, came after a two-hour closed-door meeting with representatives from the White House.

Following the announcement, WBOC-TV filmed hundreds of people including families of the victims protesting the decision outside the courthouse, many shouting “cover up!”

Nothing like this could ever happen in America?

Think again, it already did, and we are about to let our government execute the “suspects” without any public testimony.

Five alleged planners and perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were arrested shortly after the crime, sent to GITMO, and have been held without any public access for six years while being abused and water-boarded.

The CIA director recently admitted they destroyed videotapes of their interrogations of the suspects.

In their own words, the 9/11 Commission chairmen, Kean and Hamilton, have said the following about this:

During our investigation, “we decided that we needed to question the detainees directly, the C.I.A. director told us point blank that we would have no such access. The White House counsel, the secretary of defense and a representative from the Justice Department also resulted in the denial of commission access to the detainees.”

“What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.”

Chairman Kean: “what they did do is impede our investigation, because we asked for anything to do with those detainees, because they were the ones who knew most about the plot of 9/11. We asked the CIA for everything having to do with those and we asked them not on one occasion but three and four and five and six occasions and those tapes were not made available to us.”

“I mean no question that we asked for everything, and we needed it, and we weren’t given it. And so the only conclusion we can draw is it was withheld from us, and that can only be seen to me as an attempt to impede our investigation.”

Kean and Hamilton are telling us the foundation of their 9/11 Commission’s investigation is a dark empty hole. At its center, the 9/11 investigation lacks any facts, information or testimony from any of the alleged planners or perpetrators of the attacks. The White House is doing everything possible to keep it that way because Bush is determined to have the five suspects executed without any public testimony before he leaves office. If that happens, the truth about the greatest crime in US history might be buried with the silenced suspects.

CIA officer Robert Baer said, “More than anything what we need right now is complete and total transparency on 9/11.” Join your local 9/11 truth seekers calling for a complete investigation. www.DelmarvaPatriots.org

George Benton

Ocean City

Tragedy Could Have Been Easily Prevented

Editor:

This letter is hard to write because of the situation that my wife and I just faced with a stray newborn kitten we were trying to rescue. We are the founders of PetLife of Ocean City, a feline rescue group. This kitten was the result of an unfixed couple getting together and procreating, bringing a new litter into the world. Unfortunately, little Micro was only 6 days old and the last of this litter, and, also unfortunately and despite our best efforts, he passed away as well, this time in my hands.

Micro’s demise is unfortunate because it is so unnecessary. There is no reason that a cat, any cat, should not be fixed. It’s not a hard or expensive procedure and any vet is qualified and willing to perform the operation. I won’t bore you with medical facts and figures or accounts of how many strays perish each year due to neglect and abandonment, but I will say this, the numbers are staggering. There are a number of fine groups and organizations in the Ocean City area (Delmarva Cat Connection, Town Cats, the Humane Society, PetLife of Ocean City) as well as numerous individuals who are involved in feline rescue and anyone who is involved will attest to the horrific heartache that all rescuers suffer each time we lose one of our ‘kiddens’.

And, again, it is so unnecessary. I don’t know if it’s selfishness or arrogance or what that drives the mindset of someone who won’t have their cat fixed, but it is wrong and cruel in so many ways. When you have held a little life in your hands and watched it slip away, your whole perspective changes. That is what my wife and I experienced on Friday as we worked to save little Micro, only to lose him in the end. Our only solace is that we were able to hold him and let him feel our love before he passed away. But here are too many others who are not as fortunate.

I want to urge all cat owners to make an appointment to have your cat spayed or neutered today. If there are financial considerations stopping you I urge you to contact any of the above named organizations. Most have contacts that can arrange financial assistance for you if you need it. Your actions will have a positive impact on the stray cat population.

If you would like to become involved with rescuing strays, please contact any of these organizations. We are always looking for caring individuals who wish to become foster parents or want to volunteer to provide food and shelter for the areas stray cats and kittens. All of these organizations will gratefully accept financial contributions as well. Remember, their lives need our love.

Paul Toulotte

Ocean City

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